Jodie's Story

Jodie.jpg
Name:   

 Jodie

State: Georgia
Date of diagnosis:

 January 19, 2017

Age at time of diagnosis: 

 42

Stage of diagnosis:

 Stage 2              
Last 'NORMAL' Mammogram:

 Within the Year

How was cancer diagnosed?

 by Physician/confirmed by Ultrasound & MRI 

I was told several years ago that I have dense tissue with a lot of cysts, which is why I was told to start getting mammograms around age 37.  No one ever mentioned to me what having dense breasts meant.  They just always did a mammogram and said it was normal.

My friend was diagnosed in November and I decided I needed to start doing my self exams. However, since I have so many cysts, all my breasts feel lumpy.  I was due for my annual mammo, so I asked my doctor to just feel my breasts and tell me what's normal so I could have a baseline for self exams. She  felt something and sent me to a breast care specialists place (different from where I was getting my annual mammo).

The breast care specialists did a mammogram and didn't see anything - it was NORMAL.  Then they did an ultrasound and saw  something on the left breast. A biopsy confirmed invasive cancer (yet still invisible on mammo). I also had an MRI, which revealed two small spots on the right which were positive for cancer including lymph node metastasis. 

I had a double mastectomy - the pathology report concluded bilateral invasive cancer - 5CM and 2CM and Both INVISIBLE BY MAMMOGRAM.  Doctors say both cancers were there for several years which went undetected by several normal mammograms. If I had been getting ultrasounds it would have been discovered at an earlier stage.  So all this time I had a tumor growing that couldn't be seen on the mammo, only on the ultrasound on the left and a 5 cm tumor on the right by MRI. How is that possible? 

I will be meeting with my oncologist soon for my treatment plan.  My breast care doctor said I would need chemo and radiation given the size of the tumor and the fact that it was in a lymph node on the right.  

I'm really nervous about the next steps and the unknown.  I'm also nervous about it spreading to other parts of the body.  I have no history of breast cancer, I eat healthy and work out 5x a week. My health care providers should have told me years ago that I needed another detection method other than just the mammogram. Had I known what dense tissue meant, I would have pushed for more testing. 

I'm so glad I found your website because it gives me hope that I can beat this.  It made me feel better to know that others have stories similar to mine.

 



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Please browse the website further to learn about dense breast tissue, use the available resources, read and share stories and consider making a donation to help expose this BEST-KEPT SECRET about the limitations of mammography alone to detect cancer in women with dense breast tissues.

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  • Are You Dense? Fact #1:

    Breast density is one of the strongest predictors of the failure of mammography screening to detect cancer.

     
  • Are You Dense? Fact #2:

    Two-thirds of pre-menopausal women and 1/4 of post menopausal women have dense breast tissue. 

     
  • Are You Dense? Fact #3:

    Adding more sensitive tests to mammography significantly increase detection of invasive cancers that are small and node negative.

     
  • Are You Dense? Fact #4:

    Cancer turns up five times more often in women with extremely dense breasts than those with the most fatty tissue.

     
  • Are You Dense? Fact #5:

    While a mammogram detects 98% of cancers in women with fatty breasts, it finds only 48% in women with the densest breasts.

     
  • Are You Dense? Fact #6:

    A woman at average risk and a woman at high risk have an EQUAL chance of having their cancer masked by mammogram.

     
  • Are You Dense? Fact #7:

    Women with dense breasts who had breast cancer have a four times higher risk of recurrence than women with less-dense breasts.

     
  • Are You Dense? Fact #8:

    A substantial proportion of Breast Cancer can be attributed to high breast density alone.

     
  • Are You Dense? Fact #9:

    There are too many women who are unaware of their breast density, believe their “Happy Gram” when it reports no significant findings and are at risk of receiving a later stage cancer diagnosis. 

     
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